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Introducing a new cat?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I dont know if this is the right subforum or not, but my friend is asking me to take in her 2 year old cat because she is moving into a subdivision and fears the cat will be run over (it is used to have 2 acres in the woods to roam around in - Rob & I have 1.5 acres away from a main road).

We already have two kittens, about 6½-7 months old. They've been the roost-rulers lately, and we have been talking about "adopting" the other cat from my friend - we just want to know how we should go about bringing them together.

My mom always just brought a new cat in, and set it down and they figured it out themselves - it's seemed to work fine for the last 3 cats brought into the family - they're all sorts of friendly when they want to be, and "get the heck away from me" when they want to be. I'm hoping our kittens are young enough to get used to a 3rd cat if we choose to adopt my friend's cat. I've read you sometimes have to "segregate" them, which will be kind of hard for us, since we're still living with his parents and therefore don't have any room but our bathroom to separate them. The other cat is used to having other cats, as my friend has an older indoor only kitty too. This cat has also had kittens and has been around younger baby cats.

Any ideas would be welcome! She is moving next weekend and we are beginning to get on the ball with talking about it seriously - how we are going to do with a 3rd, although we can afford it and have the room. We just want to make sure our resident cats are going to eventually get along too.
post #2 of 7
Before I joined TCS, I was like your mom when it came to new cat introductions.
Although the cats did end up tolerating each other, I had to break a lot of cat fights and I became a popular customer at the vet clinic.
You may want to try the "vanilla trick" or scent exchange strategy. It works for me without need of segregating the cats.
post #3 of 7
When bringing in any new cat, its best to confine the newcomer for a week or so. And slowly let them get to know each other.

This is what I would do:

1. Confine the cat with litter pan, food, water in one room (bedroom).

2. After a day or two, put your cats in the room and take the newcomer out to walk around for a few hours. This way they can start picking up each other's scent.

3. Put the newcomer in a carrier and leave it out in the open for them to check further. Expect some hissing or growling.

4. Put a dab of vanilla extract on their nose/butt or sprinkle cornstarch baby powder on all the cats and rub in.

It still may take weeks or months to get used to things, but if you do it slow, you have better results.
post #4 of 7
Or yours could be like mine. Trapped a kitten back in September, got her shots done, did the vanilla, feliway, swapping rooms, etc. My other cat will chase the new kitten down and here we are going into Feb. and my existing cat will not accept the new one. So I have to play room swaps in order for them to have free roam of the house time.
post #5 of 7
Or you can do as I do. Bring kitten in, put on floor with other pets and go on about my day, watching things carefully. Has worked for me every time. I do, however, separate the newcomer at night for a couple of nights until he/she indicates he/she would like to join the "pack" in the living room to sleep.
post #6 of 7
that is what I have always done. Has worked with every single animal introduction I have had, dogs and cats. I recently introduced another cat to my household, did basically that, and by the second day I was even able to pop out to the shops for a short while, with my three 4X4's all being comfortable with one another.
post #7 of 7
I usually put the new comer in a large crate with food water, litter pan, etc. for a few days; so everyone can get used to one another through 'cage bars'. Then once a few days is over (unless it truly has to be a quarenteen period, in which the cat is in a seperate room altogether). I just let the new cat out, show him where the other litter pans are, and let them figure things out; the cats are going to have to establish hierarchy no matter what, anyway, so I would rather it happen sooner than later...I only break up 'major brawls'. I have NEVER had a cat get injured or not become an accepted member of the feline community doing things this way...the key is to just try not to get in the way too much and let the kitties sort things out. And make double sure to fawn over the already established members of the household so they aren't feeling 'jealous' of the new member. Of course, I AM careful about what cats I bring in too...I usually will only bring in young cats in an adult cat home; because adults are going to be more willing to accept kittens than they are an adult, who may threaten their 'throne'. And in a kitten house hold, an adult being added will be okay, because there probably won't really be a 'true' established order yet...the adult will likely take the lead role.
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